Scientist Finds 'Workout in a Pill'

Drug changes muscle to duplcate benefits of exercise
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2008 3:26 AM CDT
Personal trainer Marty Bricker, rear, at a Dallas gym. Researchers say grueling workouts could be replaced by a pill.    (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A chemical compound already available through scientific supply stores mimics the metabolic effects of weeks of training and exercise, according to a new study. Olympic authorities are now seeking a test to detect the drug in athletes. Mice given the drug Aicar ran 44% farther than mice who did not receive it, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The drug changed the composition of the mouse muscles to generate more high-endurance fibers. "That's a huge increase," said the lead researcher. "That's the kind of stuff that Lance Armstrong and endurance athletes aim for. It's a bit like free lunch without the calories."